In a few hours Donald Trump is about to take center stage and try to convince undecided voters why he still is a good choice for President. This after a horrible first debate, where he fumbled and fell victim to a carefully maneuvered trap laid by Hillary Clinton bringing up Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe, and a grueling weekend where the country heard first hand, in his own voice, how he objectifies women. They let you do whatever you want to them - kiss them or grab them by the pussy he was unmistakably heard saying. His audience laughs when he describes this way of assaulting women using his celebrity status.
In the wake of the video, several women have come out and spoken about their assaults. They speak of horrors they've had to endure and ways in which their lives were brought to the precipice of destruction. Understandably, people are disgusted at this vile man running for the highest office in the land, with 20 Republican leaders at last count, having un-endorsed his campaign.
More audio tapes of him calling his daughter "a piece of ass" and commenting on the size of her breasts have surfaced. And although anything he does or says doesn't surprise me, he disgusts every cell in my body.
Trump's lackadaisical attitude and lack of understanding or concern about sexual assault is astounding. Grabbing a woman by the pussy may be fun for him to do but for her it is nothing but a sheer attack on her body. I know what it feels like. I was grabbed by the pussy; not once or twice but many times.
He was 55 years my senior and thought I wouldn't tell anyone what he told me or what he did to me. He was right. I stayed quiet for 19 years and the first time I spoke up, I thought I had imagined it all in my head. "I won't penetrate you because you're too small", he told me as if doing me a huge favor. Yes I was small. I was 5 years old! I was not meant to be penetrated. I was meant to feel safe, play and enjoy my life. My pussy was not up for grabs, I was not up to being objectified. What was a few moments of pleasure for him turned out to be the biggest moments of pain for me. Even before I knew what my body parts were for, they were attacked. Even before I knew the words, the actions were committed. Even before I could be a grown woman, I was sexualized. But he didn't care. Why would he? He got to grab me by the pussy and although he was no celebrity, I was powerless to do anything.
For 19 years I wondered if I had made it all up, although every time I closed my eyes I could see that dark dingy room, the old paint peeling off the wall, the curtains drawn up and the windows closed, "so no one could know our secret". Every time I traveled back to that room, I shuddered and shivered at what had occurred. Every time I tried to tell someone what had happened, the words wouldn't even come out. So I told myself it wasn't true, tried every trick to forget it to convince myself it was just a dream. But try as hard to rid myself of the memory, it never left. The man, his nakedness, his appalling attitude to let his granddaughter - who was as old as me - leave for school before he could begin his charade was a distinct memory that could not be washed away. Even today, I can see that scene clearly in my head. I can see sitting outside, waiting for her to leave so he could do what he wanted to me. I can see myself sitting on the steel bed frame, his beedi smell filling up my senses, my world ready to turn upside down, yet again. I can see myself sitting ready to get assaulted from a man fit to be my grandfather. And although he is dead and his face forgotten; he still hangs around, his presence ever so slight but strong; ready to take me back to the dungeons of the earliest formed memories of my life.
This world has many Donald Trumps, many contemptible and ghastly characters who assault and objectify women and girls every chance they get. But men like these don't need to hold the most powerful position in the US. Locker room banter, if we can call Trump's comments such, don't need to make their way to the White House. Men like Trump need to be shown that celebrity or not, assaulting a woman is no laughing matter. It is not something to be taken lightly and joked about with your friends. There are consequences and no matter who you are, you will not get away.
So, thisNovember 8, the man who claims he has never lost any fight is about to lose the biggest battle of his life to those he did not even consider human. I cannot wait for his befitting and ironic end.